A visit to Kennedy Space Center has been on my bucket list for quite some time. This recent vacation, I decided it was about time to check it off my list!
The Kennedy Space Center attractions are conveniently located on the one campus, but there is a bit of walking happening so I recommend wearing comfortable shoes. You are allowed to bring food and drinks (no glass bottles and no alcohol) into the park, as long as they are packed in a small soft cooler – we brought a few bottles of water along as we knew it was going to be a warm day. Sunscreen is a must when you’re going to be outdoors in Florida – if you happen to forget it, I do believe it is sold in the gift shops.
Tickets are $40 for children (age 3-11); $50 for adults (age 12+).
There are more than enough attractions included with the admission ticket to keep you busy for at least 8 hours, but the Space Center also offers special attractions and tours that you can pre-purchase before you arrive. We opted for the Lunch with an Astronaut, which will be detailed below, and highly recommend it! The boys each wrote down in their notepads ten questions that they wanted to ask the astronaut. I loved seeing the excitement to visit grow!
ONCE YOU ARRIVE AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
My boys ran right to the covered play area to the side of the Rocket Garden, which gave us time to gain our bearings and map out our day.
The center itself is organized into mission zones, We started with the Rocket Garden tour, which is given throughout the day. The rockets are grandiose.
Mission Status Briefing was next on our personal agenda. We learned about what NASA is working on currently and what’s on the docket for the future. Private sector companies, two in particular – SpaceX and ULA, are building rockets to help bring equipment and food to the International Space Station, as well as other space exploration plans!
The Heroes and Legends exhibit houses the Astronaut Hall of Fame as well as a really cool 4D theater experience! We loved learning about many astronauts – the boys didn’t realize how many there are!
LUNCH WITH AN ASTRONAUT
We opted for the Lunch with an Astronaut and we highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity if you can! Along with a tasty buffet lunch and a walk down memory lane for me – they served Tang! (I used to drink Tang ALL the time when I was little!), you get the opportunity to meet with a retired astronaut.
On this particular day, we met Winston Scott – what an amazing and truly nice man! After he gave us a brief rundown of his career with NASA, the boys had the opportunity (all three boys, including my husband) to ask him questions. I loved that he was so welcoming, informative and cool – he’s in a jazz band! We took a photo with Winston and later on got his autograph.
EVEN MORE FUN!
Definitely make time for the bus tour – just keep in mind that the last tour starts at 2.5 hours before the center closes. We got to see the crawlers that bring the shuttles to the launch pad, the launch pads themselves, the immense building that houses the shuttles, where spectators sit to watch rockets take off, and so much more!
The bus drops you off at the Race to the Moon exhibit building where there was SO many amazing artifacts to see, including Alan Shepard’s spacesuit! Look up and there’s the Saturn V rocket that allowed for astronauts to travel to the moon and back!
Back at the Center, we ran over to see the Atlantis – this orbiter is breathtaking in person. The boys loved the simulators (I think that was their second favorite part after meeting Winston Scott).
There are a handful of dining options if you choose not to go for the Lunch with an Astronaut. We did get some soft serve iced cream to cool us down. We can’t seem to pass up soft serve ice cream regardless of the weather though!
ALL IN ALL
It was definitely a fun-filled day to say the least. We all learned so much about the history of space exploration in the coolest way possible. Listening to the boys compare new facts that they learned, made my heart so happy!
If you’d like to check out Kennedy Space Center, I highly recommend checking out their website as they have sample itineraries, and you can purchase your admission tickets as well as add-on adventure tickets right there too!
Follow the Kennedy Space Center on social media for up-to-the-minute news on rocket launches and special events too!